Thursday, March 24, 2011

03/25/11 - Break

I've been dealing with some emotional issues lately. I believe some of these issues have caused me to be a bit edgy.

So I've decided to take a break and I've ask God to heal my heart from some painful emotional experiences that have been an ever present for many years. God has brought things into light recently and I don't want to post blogs that are just a response of this issue.

I don't know how long I'll take a break, but I ask for prayer.

Healer by Kari Jobe is the cry of my heart!

03/24/11 - Remnant

Does anyone feel like God is calling a remnant of people to raise up and live a standard of holiness that causes stir in the church?

I've sensed in my heart there's "remnant people" within the walls of the church that God is calling out.

This is an example of what I mean: a girlfriend on Facebook recently posted how her and her husband were convicted to not watch a certain TV show because of a male/male kiss. Someone actually called her a "hate monger" because she's okay with male/female kisses, but not male/male kisses. This person was a believer!

I've seen people brush off sin like gossip, pride, sex outside of marriage, and other very clear violations to God's word in the name of "grace". Yes, we extend grace, but we don't use it to sin!

Those of us who have this deep stirring for deeper things of the Lord must be bold, speak out, and not shrink back from critics! We have to find each other and encourage each other in our pursuit of purity, holiness and Christ-likeness in every aspect of our lives!

It's not going to get any easier to stand strong on convictions that are counter-cultural, so even more reason to speak out and find each other in our Christian community that can tend to be more complacent then outspoken about sin!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

03/22/11 -The Blessings

In our Christian community would we tend to get more excited over someone getting a $20,000 raise or having baby number 6?

I am not a mom of lots of kids (although some think three should be a family limit), but I know a few and do you know that they receive been most criticized by their church family: snide comments, chuckles and down right rude comments! I've heard Christian bash other Christians because of their choice to have a large family. Things like, "Don't they know what causes that?!?" or "Someone needs to get that man a box of condoms!"

How is it that Christians are so quick to rejoice when a man who's been unemployed for 6 months gets a job, but we judge or make fun of a family wanting more kids than what is culturally acceptable.

Children are a blessing, a gift and have more eternal weight and value than any $20,000 raise someone might receive!

We must check the motives of our heart and be very careful how we poke fun of people in our Church family who do things different than ourselves. It's a slippery slope of dissension in the body of Christ!

Monday, March 21, 2011

03/21/11 - Drawing Near

"Draw near to God and He'll draw near to you" James 4:8

Often times we think, "Why am I stuck in this sin?" "Why does God feel so far away?" "Why am I struggling with this same issue for years on end?" "Why am I so unhappy?" "Where is this joy God promises us?"

I am sure at one point or another in your walk with Christ you've asked one of these questions. Yet we're told to "draw near to God". There's a proactive, moving forward implication of this verse.

God doesn't move farther away from us, He patiently waits for us. Once we make the first step towards being closer to Him, He'll draw near.

If you're feeling distant ask God what "drawing near to Him" looks like for you. You'll be surprised at how quickly He responds! I love God so much!!

Friday, March 18, 2011

03/18/11 - Diet Coke

I'll admit that I used to drink a lot of diet coke ($1 diet coke's at McDonald's were a weakness)! After my husband stopped drinking diet coke I saw the difference it made in how he felt. So I thought, "I'll give up diet coke for three months and see if I feel different."

So January 1st I went cold turkey!

It's not been as bad as I thought, but last week I really was fighting a cold that left me down right exhausted! My boys also had this cold and were sleeping 12 hours a night and taking 3 hour this sickness wore us out!

On Saturday I asked my husband to pick me up a diet coke, for the caffeine, but one taste and YUCK, it was AWFUL!

It tasted like chemicals and fizz all in one. Blah!

Don't think I'll be going back even after the three months is up, but what it made me realize is how I've become re-sensitive to the real taste of diet coke.

If we're constantly taking in movies, TV shows, books and other entertainment with violence, sexual promiscuity, disobedient children, wives who belittle their husbands, vile language and so on we become de-sensitive to the "real" sin of these issues. They become common to us.

Can I challenge you to re-sensitize yourself to what is pure, lovely, and of good repute! Ask God to show you what it would take and go for it!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

03/17/11 - Does Biblical Womanhood Matter?

You know this blog is really just a rambling of what's going on in my heart, life, and thoughts! I am glad there are some of you who enjoy!

Biblical Womanhood....does it matter?

In the last couple of years God has been teaching me a lot about biblical womanhood and the more I study the more I realize how FAR off the mark we are in the church on womanhood! (This isn't just about being a stay at home mom!)

Satan tempted Eve first, he's still after us women and we've fallen for it.

The sharp contrast of a biblical woman vs. what the culture teaches womanhood is, is black and white, night and day, east vs. west. Yet, we don't seem to take becoming women that exhibit biblical womanhood very seriously.

Our churches are filled with evangelical feminists who've bit the "fruit" and lies of the feminist movement. We hardly know the difference and it's not being taught by most pastors because of the "sensitivity" and "fightin' words" nature of the concept of biblical womanhood.

If you'd like to study biblical womanhood I'd suggest four things: the book of Titus, Proverbs 31, Biblical Portrait of Womanhood and The True Woman Manifesto.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

03/16/11 - Girls Gone Wise Wednesday

Here's this week's study questions: Body Language

Mary's vlog of the week: Flirt to Convert

The contrast of the "Girl-Gone-Wild" woman "uses suggestive body language to attract the attention of men. Her counter part, the Girl-Gone-Wise, is demure. She does not resort to deceptive charm." (pg 110)

"A charm is any method of enchanting and compelling him." (pg 112)

A wild woman uses her body for her own underlying selfish agenda. A wise woman has surrendered her body language to God and doesn't use it at all to get anything she wants outside of God's timing.

The culture is training young women how to be sexual and charming, however we are to reserve this for our marriage!

So far what has been the point of contrast that has spoken to you the most?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

03/15/11 - Biblical Womanhood

Do you ever find yourself challenged by your own past journals or thoughts? This happened to me as I found my outline of what biblical womanhood looks like for me!

Here's what I wrote out:

"Biblical womanhood is less impulsive, more prayerful and self-controlled even in "good", "godly" things. I'd be patient and calm.

If I am less impulsive I allow John to lead more freely.

I must be intentional about embracing biblical womanhood.

I can help by being "tethered" to God's Word.

Say less, do more, actions speak."

Monday, March 14, 2011

03/14/11 - Life Verses

Do you have a life verse or verses?

This is what I have as my life verse and I have yet to memorize this! It's laminated by my kitchen sink and I read it often, but I am going to memorize these verses! And I could spend a life time doing what this says!

1 Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is,seated at the right hand of God.
2 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.
3 For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
4 When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.
5 Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry.
6 For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience,
7 and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them.
8 But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth.
9 Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices,
10 and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him--
11 a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all
12 So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;
13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.
14 Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.
15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.
16 Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
17 Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus,giving thanks through Him to God the Father.18 Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.

Colossians 3:1-18

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

03/09/11 - Girls Gone Wise Wednesday

Here's Mary's weekly V-log: How Hot is Too Hot?

And the week's questions: Appearance

When I read this chapter I thought, "How do I condense this to one blog post?" Modesty is a topic close to my heart because I see how young women have been sold the worlds lie about dress and modesty.

It seems everywhere I turn I see more skin, more sex appeal, and less godly counsel in this area. Then Mary lays out modesty from a totally new perspective in this chapter! She goes back to the garden of Eden and starts there with nakedness and covering.

Forgive me, but I am just going to share what I underlined in this chapter and would love to hear your thoughts if you've read this chapter!

"The shame of their fallen condition demanded a covering, not to conceal it, but to confess and redeem it. This is a very important point. Clothing bears witness to the fact that we have lost the glory and beauty of our original sin-free selves." (pg 99)

"His covering makes us decent. Without it, we are indecent. The physical clothes we wear is supposed to bear witness to that fact."(pg 100)

"Sin encourages us to throw off clothing and inhibition, and proudly display our nakedness" (pg 102)

"The heart is where we put on Christ and the clothing of Christ." (pg 102)

"Spiritual adornment is the reality. Physical adornment is the symbol of that reality." (pg 103)

"First, and foremost, your clothing ought to be becoming, congruous with, fitting to, and consistent with your character as a Child of God. It needs to 'match' the clothing of Christ." (pg 104)

"Your clothing tells the truth about the gospel." (pg 106)

As Christian women we will either be wild or wise in how we dress ourselves. We'll either draw attention to Christ in the way we dress or draw attention to ourselves.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

03/08/11 - Leave and Cleave

It seems like God brings things to me in many different ways and lately the concept of "leave and cleave" has come up and I just want to share my own struggle with this.

Before I got married I would have thought this process would be natural and easy. But it was not natural and was harder than I thought.

I grew up in a close knit family. I lived at home till I got married and my parents were a powerful, positive influence in my life. I am thankful for their guidance and godly counsel.

But when I married John, I joined a new "team". Actually we started a new "team". In those early years of our marriage I found that I wanted to "check in with my parents" or make sure "they'd be okay" with whatever decision we were making.

This came in very subtle ways and so it made it harder to weed out and make sure that John and I were standing together as a team, seeking God together and seeking His approval only for anything we decided to do as a family.

Leaving and cleaving involves being intentional about putting your full alliance with your mate! You're starting a new team and as a woman you're the "cheerleader" of this team!

Hope this can help other new brides cleave fully to their husbands and to God in this new journey!

Friday, March 4, 2011

03/04/11 - Off Limits

"God, no You can't ask that of me!"

"God, really You want me to change that!"

"God, You can't really want me to say that!

What are your "off limits" to God: singleness, mission field, being barren, moving, finding a new job in this awful economy, a new group of friends, a ministry at your local church, overeating, an anti-depressant, repairing a broken relationship, or down sizing so you can be a stay at home mom?

What are you afraid to let go of?

As soon as something becomes "off limits" to God, it becomes an idol in our life. It's really that simple! We're choosing the flesh over the Spirit. We're choosing our way over God's way. We're thinking we know what's best for our life, our family or our church.

Surrender is a process in the Christian walk, not an easy one, but an essential one to mature in faith!

And remember the things that God is calling you to let go of, maybe totally different than what He's calling someone else no judgement, no being critical, just trust that they are on their path towards surrender! (Preaching that to myself!)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

03/03/11 - Living at Peace

"If at all possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceable with all" Romans 12:18

When you look at Romans 12 I appreciate that this verse finds itself in that chapter.

Think about it, verse 1 tell us to present our bodies as a living sacrifice.
Verse 2 tells us to not be conformed to this world. (We, believers, need to look totally different!)
Verses 3 to 8 give a list of spiritual gifts given to us in relationship to the body of Christ.

Then verse 9 - 17 says:
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone.

Then verse 18 tells us that whatever we can do, live peaceable with others in the body of Christ.

The world is watching Christians. I think disharmony, disunity, factions, church splits, divorce, arguments, and fights keep more people from coming to the the pure joy of a relationship with Christ than almost anything else.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

03/02/11 - Girls Gone Wise Wednesday

Here's this week's questions: Focus: What Commands Your Attention

And here's Mary's weekly video: On the Prowl

In this chapter we look at this contrast, "The Wild Thing focuses on what she can get. She particularly wants the guy. The Girl-Gone Wise, on the other hand, focuses on what she can give." (pg 84)

The Wild Thing is always lying in wait for what she wants. This doesn't end once she "gets the guy" either. The Wild Thing wants the bigger house, the nicer car, the fancier clothes, the better job, and she's never just happy or content.

At the core of her heart is greed and discontentment. Which is not limited to single gals, but can carry over to marriage, having little kids, being an empty nester, being unable to have children, and any other stage of life you find yourself in.

A Girl Gone Wise is "kingdom-focused instead of me-focused." (pg. 88) Her main goal is to make Christ famous in her singleness, her sexuality, her marriage, the way she orders her day, her clothes, her actions, and in each and every aspect of her life.

Are we moving towards becoming Wise or Wild in our focus?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

03/01/11 - Prayer

Father in heaven,

You alone are holy and worthy Lord!

Thank you Lord for who You are, for what You've done, and how You love us though we are so unworthy. Thank you for Your Son who saves us and gives us a blueprint for how to live here on this earth. Thank you for Your Spirit to guide, comfort and direct us. Without You in our lives we'd be blind, helpless, and hopeless.

Lord, may we always live with You at the front of our thoughts. Guide our minds, our thoughts, our actions, and our time. Protect us, direct us, and lead us closer to You.

Cause life to draw us closer to you, not further away.

Purify us Lord!

May our days be ordered by You. May we be ever mindful that each breath we take, each step we take is in total dependence of You.

Remove the scales in our eyes so we can see anything that gets in the way of our relationship with you. Remove bitterness, wrath, anger, envy, pride, lust, jealousy, and disunity.

Help us clothe ourselves with compassion and love. Increase in us the fruits of Your Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control. May we be walking advertisements of your great love and grace.

Thank you Lord!

We ask for this all in Jesus name!

(Please add your prayer to the comment box and let's have a day of prayer)